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04/16/2005: "Fabulae Pontificalis (Today's episode: Pope 9 From Outer Space)"
In January of 897 CE ex-Pope Formosus was placed on trial by trial by the
present Pope, Stephen VI. Now, one Pope conducting the trial of a former
Pope is an unusual event. It becomes even more unusual when you consider
that Formosus had been dead for six months. And it becomes extremely
unusual once you learn that, despite being a corpse, Formosus attended his
I can see that a small amount of explanation is called for.
Back in the day, back to the council of Nicaea in 325 CE to be precise,
Bishops were barred from being elected Pope. The logic behind this was
that being the Bishop of some other municipality as well as the Episcopus
Romae was pretty much the same as having two wives: An odd analogy for men
who weren't allowed to get married. Cardinals, by the way, didn't appear
on the scene until the eleventh century, and the swimsuit competition was
eliminated from the Papal Conclave in 1978.
The rule keeping Bishops off the throne of Peter was rescinded by Pope
Marinus I (Pope from 882 through 884 CE); this cleared the way for
Formosus, who was at that time Bishop of Porto (Motto: "The city that
never sleeps…and is, therefore, rather cranky.") to be elected CEO of the
Catholic Church in 891.
Formosus would reign for five years. He was succeeded by Boniface VI, who
may have the shortest Papal tenure on record: a measly fifteen days.
According to the Annales Ecclesiasticae (written in the sixteenth
century by one Cardinal Baronius), Boniface VI was "a disgusting monster"
who was deposed on charges of adultery (?) and homicide.
Boniface VI was followed by Stephen VI (896-897) who had long despised the
late Formosus thanks to certain political alliances that the former Pope
had formed within the Frankish Empire. Now that Stephen was wearing the
pointy hat the time was ripe for revenge.
Remember that old rule about Bishops not being allowed to become Pope? Well
Pope Steve-O used that as a pretext for putting the recently buried on
trial. So Formosus, in what has since become known as the Cadaver
Synod, was disinterred, redressed in his pontifical vestments, and
propped up in a chair: not unlike Norman Bates' mom in Psycho A
deacon was placed next to Formosus and assigned the duty of answering any
questions which might be posed to the corpse. Despite this top-notch legal
representation, Formosus was found guilty of perjury (WTPFMYV?) and a few
other miscellaneous crimes.
And then came the penalty phase of the trial.
Formosus' papal garments were ripped (Chippendales-like) from his body;
three of his fingers (the ones he'd used for consecrations) were hacked
from his right hand before his corpse was tossed into a grave in the
strangers' cemetery: from where it was unceremoniously removed a few days
later and chucked in to the Tiber.
So, does this mean that Formosus isn't buried in the Vatican? No. An
industrious/amphibious monk leap into the river and saved (like on
Baywatch, but without the fake tits) the body Pope Formosus. A few
months later, Stephen's successor had Formosus re-interred in St. Peter's.
Successor? A few months later? What happened to Pope Stephen VI? Well,
the Cadaver Synod was considered a little too over-the-top by the people
of Rome who, in angry mod mode, deposed Stephen and sent him packing off
to prison…where he was later strangled to death by an assassin.
_ . _
Hey Pope-oholics, I hope you enjoyed that because it's Fabulae
Pontificalis Week here at RATYHTL. I'll be sharing with you the sort
of Papal history that the Church (and nearly every news program) would
_ . _
Bonus Phun Phact: Cardinal Baronius, the aforementioned author of the
Annales Ecclesiasticae, referred to the above epoch in the Church's
history as "the obscene decade". In fact, things had gotten so bad during
the 800's that, according to John Potter's History of Christianity
that priests, completely ignorant of Latin, were not baptizing babies
"in nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti"but instead were
babbling "in nomine Patria et Filia et Spirita Sancta " ("In the
name of Patricia, the daughter, and the holy female spirit")
Replies: 14 Comments
on Saturday, April 16th, Oneword said
ONe time when I was a littie kid, I was watching this horrible show called the New Monkees, Some idiot thinking that it might meet up to the original.It aired around the late 80s. There was this episode were the Pope forgot his guitar in the restaraunt they would hang out in, so they spent the entire episode looking for the Pope to give him back his guitar. Finnaly they found him at the end of the show, He appeard to the New Monkees in a cloud of smoke, and played some Popified guitar licks for them, and then they closed the show with their stupid ass theme song.
on Saturday, April 16th, billzebub said
Who played the pope? Was it Prince? He'd make a swell musical pope. Plus he has that song about how "you can be the President, I'd rather be the Pope."
on Saturday, April 16th, Rodney said
The drummer for the New Monkees used to drum for Snakeout: one of teh bestest bands EVAR!
on Sunday, April 17th, hedgroz said
ok, I'm a loser for this, but I still don't know what "wtpfmyv" means. I googled it, and I got two links to...surprise...this very site...and nothing else. So, if somebody could fill me in, I'd be delighted. I've been looking at it for too long, I thought I'd just figure it out eventually, but it hasn't happened yet, and I'm tired of waiting. Help me Obi-Wan-Kenobi, you're my only hope.
on Sunday, April 17th, mykel armory said
now ridney is not change his ways. he is back to assking forgo to hell. again. gonaa make fun at popes some more. all week. what the hek is this rodney. new monkeys. the new monkeys was good. you like beethles? bropbably . I no that you are tong. and rodeny, you are spell wrong everything anymore. you say teh and in the the and evar but its ever. you need to learn. yourpeople dont make fun at you when you are spel like a dumby. but that is it is int it. you are a dumby. a real dumby who knows better than to talk about pople alre time and then you do any way. you make the pope say fredie kruger stuff then you give him the sweeter that he wore. sicl. di d you ever thing? do you. if you did you mae find that thins is not all it is to you is jokeS AND GAMES. SWINSUIT COMPETION IS NOT TO DO WITH POPE AND YOU TALK AOBUT BISOPS? WHAT IS BIRSOPS TO YOU. AN ALL YOU WANTO RITE ABOUT IS THE POPE DIES THIS THE POPE DIES THA T BUT YOU DONT SEE THE TRUTH. REMEMBER THE GOD HE SAY THAY SALT NOT KILL. AND YOU WILL KILL WITH WORDS ALL WAYS WITH WORDS. YOU DONT CALL A POPE NORMAN BATES MOM. YOU DONT CALL A BRAINS OF JESUS. SICK YOU ARE SICK. SORP TOINGTHIS STUFF TO GOD AND PEOPLE AND POPES AND DEATH WISHING ISWRONG. STIPE YOUR CUSSING AND CARRYING ON. THE ONLY CHRSCH YOU HAVE IS OF SATIN. AND SATIN IS PROUD OF HIS WORK WITH YOU YOU LISTEN WHEN HE SAYS IN YOUR EARS TO DO HIS WILL BUT REMEBER THE GOD SEES YOU AND SEES WHAT YOU YO. HESUS DEID FOR YOU AND SINS FORGIVE. BUT HOW MNUCH SHINS CNA HE FORGIVE. YOU TELL ME THAT. RONDEY CHANGE AND NO POST ABOUT THIS POPES ALL WEKE.
on Sunday, April 17th, MYLEK ARMORY said
NIOT DUMBY. BUT DUMMY. IW AS WRONG. IT IS NOT WHAT I SAID BUT IT IS DUMMY. SE I ADMIT WHEN I HAVE MAKE MISTAIKES. WHY ARE ALL BIG LETTERS ALL IS TYPING. CAN YOU HELP PLEAS
on Sunday, April 17th, mykkle armory said
my sisters cootchie tastes good.
on Sunday, April 17th, briannirvana said
i think mykle spelt cootchie right.
on Sunday, April 17th, Scott said
What's all the hubbub about "SATIN"? I think it's a perfectly fine fabric.
on Sunday, April 17th, briannirvana said
mykle might have some valid points if he had better grammar.
i mean comon what t fuck is the deal with the spelling? we all have our uniqueness, but this vernacular of mykle's is odd to say the least.
on Sunday, April 17th, briannirvana said
do you know that you come off odder than zooskool.com? that's odd, man.
sorry i keep bringing up zooskool but it erk's me, and i dont seem to like it.
on Sunday, April 17th, billzebub said
For Hedroz: WYPFMYV= "Will you please fuck my vellow vagina" - areference to a sad tiome in RATYHTL history when we used to troll conservative blogs. Specifically, Malkin's blog.
on Sunday, April 17th, the drunk mailman said
i think mykel might be one of those gorillas that was taught english...and then they gave him a computer...
on Sunday, April 17th, Grundy Sherwood said
WTPFMYV = What the please fuck my yellow vagina